Shuzenji Temple 修禅寺
A classic temple founded by Kobo Daishi 12 centuries ago
Located on a hilltop, Shuzenji Temple was established in 807 by Kobo Daishi (Kukai), one of Japan's leading Buddhist monks and the founder of Shingon Buddhism.
Shuzenji's small museum features shogun Minamoto no Yoriie's death mask
The temple and its surroundings are famous for its brilliant foliage in the autumn
How to Get There
Shuzenji Temple is about two and a half hours from Tokyo by train and bus.
Buses from Shuzenji Station to nearby Shuzenji Onsen take 10 minutes. The temple is a three-minute walk from the bus stop. Taxis are also available.
A center of power struggles and tragedy
Shuzenji is a peaceful place, but it is associated with turbulent historical events. During the Kamakura period, warlord Minamoto Yoritomo imprisoned his brother Noriyori there, who later either committed suicide or was murdered. Minamoto's brilliant son Yoriie, the second shogun in the line, was later killed at the tender age of 23 on orders from his grandfather, making it where the Minamoto clan met its end.
Take a break at Shuzenji Temple
Located at the center of town, the temple is an icon of this renowned hot springs resort. Today, it is a Zen Buddhist temple where visitors can take part in meditation classes on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m.
Other things to see and do in the area
Shuzenji Onsen is named after the Shuzenji Temple, and many of the main attractions are within close reach of the temple. There is a bamboo forest, and traditional craftworks made from bamboo are a Shuzenji specialty. There's also a craft beer brewery in the vicinity with a tasting room and tours available.